Mailbag: Missed opportunity in street projects

November 25, 2010

With regard to the $1.6 million street resurfacing project on Pacific Coast Highway and Laguna's residential streets, and the ongoing $10,000 change-order for striping and final adjustments, now would be a good time to recall the updated policy from Caltrans, California's Department of Transportation.

It says "The department views all transportation improvements as opportunities to improve safety, access, and mobility for all travelers in California and recognizes bicycle, pedestrian, and transit modes as integral elements of the transportation system."

This means even small paving projects are an opportunity to make small adjustments to better accommodate all travelers, such as shifting striping to better accommodate pedestrians and cyclists, or in the case of Laguna Beach, providing the stripes in the first place.


Today virtually all the streets planned for resurfacing are finished while the DOT policy goes ignored.

Further, the status quo argues that Complete Streets policy mandated by the state doesn't apply till Jan. 1, so CS policy can be safely ignored till then.

With the prime interest rate hovering at zero, I will argue it is better to comply with Complete Streets policy yesterday than it will be tomorrow.

Les Miklosy

Laguna Beach

Editor's Note: Les Miklosy is chairman of the Complete Streets Task Force in Laguna Beach.


Village Laguna wields too much power

Over the last three weeks, I've been attacked by three different Village Laguna board members for publicizing voting irregularities in the recent Design Review Board election.

Each attack has quite unintentionally revealed more about both the Village Laguna agenda and the strong control Village Laguna has over a three-vote City Council majority.

In a Nov. 19 newspaper communication, Armando Baez poses this question: "I wonder when any of the city council members became so docile as to be controlled by any person or group as Mr. Navarro claims?"

When, Mr. Baez? How about April 6. That date marks Baez's own quite successful effort at maneuvering the City Council to deny his next-door neighbor on Driftwood Drive the courtesy and right to add a home addition. This proposed addition came twice before the DRB. Both times, the DRB approved it by a unanimous vote, but each time, Baez appealed the decision to the City Council.

On April 6, 2010, Baez prevailed on a 3-2 vote of the Village Laguna Council majority — Toni Iseman, Jane Egly, and Verna Rollinger — and the project was rejected.

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